LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has been fined US$25,000 (S$34,500) but will escape a suspension for his kick on Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, the NBA said Monday.
Green left the Warriors sweating on the prospect of a possible ban after kicking Adams in the groin during Golden State's rout to the Thunder in Game Three on Sunday.
Golden State's management and Green had insisted the incident in the first half - which left Adams doubled over in pain - was accidental.
Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA's executive vice president of basketball operations, said Green's foul had been upgraded to a flagrant two - meaning he would have been ejected from the game if the officiating crew had given that ruling on the court.
"After a thorough investigation that included review of all available video angles and interviews with the players involved and the officials working the game, we have determined that Green's foul was unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine," said VanDeWeghe.
"During a game, players - at times - flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul, but Green's actions in this case warranted an additional penalty."
Thunder star Russell Westbrook had fueled the controversy by stating that the flagrant foul looked deliberate. It followed another collision between Green and Adams in Game Two.
"The way I look it looks intentional to me," Westbrook said. "That's two times in the last two games."
Green, however, said ahead of the ruling on Monday he did not expect to be suspended based on his in-game conversation with referee Scott Foster.
"I said, 'Scott, how am I getting a Flagrant because my leg went in the air trying follow-through on a shot, to sell the call,'" Green said.
"He said, 'Draymond, I'm not saying intentional. Honestly, I don't think it was intentional at all. But you caught him in the groin area so I have to give you a Flagrant.' I didn't argue it or nothing. I said OK, that's understandable.
"I followed through on a shot. I'm not trying to kick somebody in the men's section. I'm sure he wants to have kids one day. I'm not trying to end that on the basketball court."